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Hubble Images of M100 Before and After Mirror Repair


Hubble Images of M100 Before and After Mirror Repair



This comparison image of the core of the galaxy M100 shows the dramatic improvement in Hubble Space Telescope's view of the universe after the first Hubble Servicing Mission in December 1993. The new image, taken with the second generation Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC-2) installed during the STS-61 Hubble Servicing Mission, beautifully demonstrates that the camera's corrective optics compensate fully for the optical aberration in Hubble's primary mirror. With the new camera, the Hubble explored the universe with unprecedented clarity and sensitivity, and fulfilled its most important scientific objectives for which the telescope was originally built. Image on right: The core of the grand design spiral glazy M100, as imaged by WFPC-2 in its high-resolution channel. WRPC-2's modified optics corrected Hubble's previously blurry vision, allowing the telescope for the first time to cleanly resolve faint structures as small as 30 light-years across in a galaxy tens of millions of light-years away. The image was taken on December 31, 1993. Image on left: For comparison, a picture taken with a WFPC-1 camera in wide-field mode on November 27, 1993, just a few days prior to the STS-61 servicing mission. The effects of optical aberration in HST's 2.4-meter primary mirror blur starlight, smear out fine detail, and limit the telescope's ability to see faint structure. Both Hubble images were "raw," they were not processed using computer image reconstruction techniques that improved aberrated images made before the servicing mission. The Wide Field and Planetary Camera-2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science...Image # : 94-HC-2

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